13.1.1. Poor dorso-palmar balance of hooves

Authors: Hana Hofmannová, CE-F

Place of work: Přerov

1. Title of the article (Diagnosis): 13.1.1. Poor dorso-palmar balance of hooves

Breed: Czech Warmblood

Gender: gelding

Age: 10 years

Color: chestnut

Working discipline: school horse

2. Data of the patient

Reason why the owner complains:  Relatively frequent tripping of the horse, loss of horseshoes in the period from the third week after shoeing. Irregular lameness on the right front limb from the fourth week.

Duration of the problems: From the beginning of use in the riding school, about two years.

 

Stabling conditions: Box stall

 

Bedding: Straw

 

Frequency of the hoof care: Previously necessary every 3 max. 4 weeks due to shoe loss

 

Type of shoeing: Two-clip horseshoes

 

Lameness and diagnosis: Often tripping, in the period after 3 weeks from shoeing, loosening and loss of horseshoes. After excessive work, tendon swelling and occasional limping to the right front limb.

3. Anamnesis

Characterization of the problems:  Poor dorso-palmar balance of the hooves, insufficient trim of the old horn, insufficient shortening of the toe and complete absence of breakover on the hooves, see. Fig.No. 1., 2.

 

Hoof shape and pathological changes - Sloping hooves, internally diagonal see. 3 and 4.

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Fig. No. 1: View of the hoof from side

Fig. No. 2: Outward rotation of the limbs with inward rotation of the phalnges

Fig. No. 3 and 4: From left - Right and left front hoof before trim. Sloping internally diagonal hooves.

Conformation: Outward rotation of limbs with inward rotation of the phalanges, see. Giant. No. 2.

 

Evaluation of the hoof care: Insufficient trim of the old horn, toe kept too long with a bend dorsal wall. Poor dorso-palmar balance see Fig. No: 1., 2., 3., 4., 5., 6., 7.

 

Evaluation of the type of shoeing:

Hind two-clip shoes poorly shaped into the front, which, due to the small distance between the clips, do not allow the horseshoe to be fitted more caudaly. Horseshoes that are too short, do not provide sufficient support for the bearing edge of the hooves or their comfortable movement in the forward and sideways directions without facilitating breakover. The brekover point was shifted forward and the anteroposterior balance ratio was 65/35, which leads to a large strain on the deep digital flexor tendon and collateral ligaments, see Fig. No. 5 and 6.

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Fig. No. 5, 6, 7:

Evaluation of the old trim and the method of shoeing

Examination results:

Prior to trim and shoeing, the horse was examined with a lameness locator on straight lines on asphalt and on a soft sandy surface. On the hard surface, a more pronounced limping to the right front limb was demonstrated in the pushoff phase. Pain in the right forelimb was projected onto the left hind limb during the impact phase. On the soft surface, the limping receded and moved into the impact phase, see Fig. No. 8., 9. - evaluation reports from the Lameness Locator examination before shoeing. This examination revealed the need for the maximum possible correction of the anteroposterior balance of the hooves and adjustment of the level of breakover of the hoof closer to the center of gravity.

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Fig. No. 8 .: Result of examination using Lamenes Locator:

Trot on a straight line on a hard surface - lameness of the right front limb in the pushoff phase. Pain in the right forelimb was projected onto the left hind limb during the impact phase.

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Fig. No. 9 .: Result of examination using Lamenes Locator:

Trot on a straight line on a soft surface - On a soft surface, the lameness subsided and moved to the impact phase.

4. Problem description

Selected hoof trim:

When trimming the hooves, the old horn was removed as much as possible along the entire bearing edge in an effort to obtain the best possible antero-posterior balance of the hoof. By lowering the heels, removing the overgrown horn in the front part of the hooves and rounding the front edge, the bearing surface of the foot was shofted backwards. This achieved a 50/50 antero-posterior balance.

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Fig. No. 10., 11: From left - Right and left front hoof after trim

Fig. No. 12., 13: From left - Right and left front hoof after trim

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Fig. No. 14 .: Front hooves after trim seen from the front

 

Shoe preparation:

Equilibrium size 3 horseshoes (two clips) were chosen for shoeing

 

Shoeing:

By moving the horseshoes caudally, the required 35/65 balance and the correct breakover point have been achieved so that a faster breakover ease the overloaded deep digital flexor tendon.

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Fig. No. 15., 16 .: From left - Right and left front hoof after shoeing

Fig. No. 17., 18 .: From left - Right and left front hoof after shoeing

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Fig. No. 19 .: Front hooves after shoeing seen from the front

 

Veterinary treatment:

For now without veterinary or any other measures

 

Rules of the further care:

Adherence to regular shoeing intervals between 5 - 7 weeks

5. Chosen solutions

Effect of the first selected hoof treatment:

There was a change in the horse's movement immediately after the first shoeing. Examination with the Lameness locator after shoeing showed a significant improvement, especially on the hard, but also on the soft surface, see. Fig. No. 20., 21. Tripping stopped completely. Swelling of the limbs after work has not reappeared since the change of shoeing. Improvement of  the quality of the horn and the load-bearing capacity of the hoof walls, after straightening the bend walls caused by overloading the too long dorsal wall.

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Comparison of lameness locator reports:

From the left, FIG. No. 8. Examination with a Lameness locator before shoeing in trot on a straight line and a hard surface, and Fig. No. 20. after shoeing showed a significant improvement.

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Comparison of Lameness locator reports before and after shoeing in a trot  on straight line on a soft surface

From the left, FIG. No. 9. Examination with a Lameness locator before shoeing and Fig. No. 21. after shoeing also showed a significant improvement.

lipChanges in the choice of horseshoes and shoeing :

Two-cap horseshoes without breakover changed to Equilibrium, significant shortening of the hooves and shifting the horseshoe back, towards the center of gravity. Facilitate breakover.

 

Farriery treatment effect:

By improving the anteroposterior balance of the hooves and support in the palmar part of the hoof, limping to the right forelimb was eliminated, the problem of tripping and the loss of horseshoes disappeared. Also, the limbs do not swell after harder work.

 

Result of the care:

The horse shows no signs of discomfort throughout the interval between shoeing. It is possible to shoe after 6-7 weeks without significantly changing the balance of the hooves.

6. Follow up – Development of changes

The basis is a good trim of the hooves, with the removal of the old horn. Necessary shortening of the toe so that the balance is appropriate even after 6-7 weeks after shoeing. In the case of sloping hooves, it is very important to achieve a good balance in the antero-posterior direction, i.e. to move the breakover point towards the center of gravity. If this cannot be achieved with a single-clip horseshoe with a forged rocker, it is better to choose a two-clip horseshoe, which can be moved back to achieve a better balance. There is no need to use too long horseshoes, which unnecessarily load the already overloaded heels.

7.  Conclusion (take home message):